Wild Nettle:

The Himalayan Giant Nettle (Girardinia diversifolia), locally known as allo has been used for centuries by communities throughout Nepal. We use Wild Nettle in different weave designs in many of our products because of its natural beauty, excellent durability and long tradition within Nepal.

History and Sourcing Our Nettle
The Himalayan Giant Nettle (Girardinia diversifolia), locally known as allo has been through centuries used by local communities in Nepal especially for making clothes. It grows widely in different parts of Nepal. However, this fabric is very special to an ethnic community called Kulung, living in Sankhuwasabha, East Nepal. The fabric is considered sacred as it is used as a covering or a blanket during the time of birth and death in their communities and also used in other cultural ceremonies.

 

Supporting Traditional Nettle in Nepal

The traditional knowledge and practise of harvesting Wild Nettle and processing its fibre has been conserved in only a few remote regions in Nepal. As modernisation progresses, these traditions, once seen as sacred and culturally significant (use in all religious and spiritual ceremonies and rituals) are slowly being lost.

We heard during our first visit to Sankhuwasabha that “we are considered backward* because we still harvest and weave nettle fabrics.” Such comments make them question their lifestyle and what they do, with many of the younger generation shying away from learning these traditional skills.

We work with and source directly from a nettle weaving cooperative owned and run by local women. This not only gives the local people more power in selling their nettle, removing unhealthy competition to sell individually, but it also specifically gives women the power (and money) which is significant in working towards gender equality and women’s empowerment.

As well as creating beautiful, unique and sustainable products for you, through creating our range of products using Wild Nettle, Khali Khutta provides an income source based on traditional skills that helps to support the Kulung community to continue their age-old tradition. By integrating the fibre into making modern styled products means helps revalue these skills and encourage the younger generation to hold on to their heritage and traditions. This makes our wild nettle products not just environmentally sustainable, but socially sustainable too.

*backward, not progressive, retrograde etc.

 

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